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    [–] Horror story for Tories in terms of BAME vote in London local elections - 78% for Labour, just 12% Tory. grepnork 1 points ago in ukpolitics

    They're centre-right within Labour, and since all British governments between the war and Cameron were centre-right, they fit that definition too.

    [–] Horror story for Tories in terms of BAME vote in London local elections - 78% for Labour, just 12% Tory. grepnork 2 points ago in ukpolitics

    The emergence of Labour in the historically Tory boroughs is down to housing policy not race - rising costs are forcing a Labour voting diaspora from the inner London boroughs into the Tory 'doughnut'.

    All that said it's still firmly centre-right - most of South London is Blairite Labour (Chuka Umunna, Steve Reid etc) - it's the national politics that has shifted to the far right.

    [–] Government announces increase to NHS surcharge for Immigrants grepnork 3 points ago in ukpolitics

    The trust, in short.

    The two aren't really comparable because IIRC the government sold the railway assets for a nominal sum to Railtrack PLC, the asset holding company was put into administration when Railtrack collapsed and Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd was formed to buy them out of administration. At this point they're privately held assets of the government, aside from those built on Crown Land, where the Crown remains the land owner and only the track and signalling is owned by the limited company.

    The whole point is the ownership structure in both cases is rather complicated.

    [–] Government announces increase to NHS surcharge for Immigrants grepnork 2 points ago in ukpolitics

    Network rail's assets all belong to a limited company, Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd, which is wholly state owned and the management of the assets is done via kind of non-departmental public body. The trusts are in practice quasi-independent and run by a board, any assets are held by the trust itself.

    You could describe the trusts as NGO's, and that's probably the closet correct term. The problem is they have policy responsibility both above them and below them so there isn't a good label to apply.

    [–] Government announces increase to NHS surcharge for Immigrants grepnork 3 points ago * (lasted edited 2 days ago) in ukpolitics

    Not effectively, not even actually. One of the reasons these Trusts were established and new facilities built under PFI is that it envisioned a system were corporate entities could buy or build new facilities and bid for services. That didn't work so well because the buy in cost was too large, hence Lansley split out the hospital services so they could be contracted at a service level instead.

    The majority of the NHS is not, nor has ever been, 'owned' by the state because the state co opted private assets into the system without purchasing them. State money is invested in the system but not as a means of buying things in your meaning of the term. Your local GP surgery belongs to the partners of that surgery and they are contracted to the NHS. There are more recent surgeries that were built by the NHS or a local authority but these are leased to a group of partners to run on an effectively private basis but deliver an NHS service.

    As I said, read the history and understand the structure of the organisation. One of the biggest problems the NHS faces is that most of the NHS and it's staff (GPs, dentists, consultants etc) aren't within the direct control of either the DoH or the CCGs - if they want to change policy they have to negotiate contract changes with the trusts and the staff unions.

    [–] Government announces increase to NHS surcharge for Immigrants grepnork 4 points ago in ukpolitics

    The hospital system was around long before 1948 (many in the mid to late 1700s), all of the major hospitals were built privately and run privately - treatment of the poor and new facilities were funded by donations.

    The point of Foundation trusts was to return hospitals to a semi-autonomous state where they were contracted to the NHS rather than part of it, meaning they were free to engage in private treatment, research, to bid for NHS service delivery, and construct new facilities funded outside of the NHS but still accessible to the public.

    Almost all NHS services are run by contract, from hospitals through dentists and GPs (all contractors).

    [–] Government announces increase to NHS surcharge for Immigrants grepnork 17 points ago in ukpolitics

    This isn't health insurance, it's a surcharge. All T2 visa holders are required to have gold-plated travel insurance including healthcare coverage and repatriation expenses in any case.

    This is just a tax on immigrants.

    [–] Government announces increase to NHS surcharge for Immigrants grepnork 7 points ago in ukpolitics

    Yes you can.

    Go on then, amaze us with your solution to this problem. How do you spot and expat, or differentiate a permanently resident french person from French people who are just visiting?

    They're entitled to it through their heritage IMHO.

    Free healthcare is based on where you're ordinarily resident. An expat isn't resident in this country and doesn't pay taxes here, ergo they are not entitled to free healthcare. A substantial part of the health tourism problem is actually down to the expat community.

    Not really. We should obviously treat all injuries and accidents. Most other conditions and illnesses should be refused without payment though.

    Thus disagreeing with your earlier points. What types of illness would you treat, and how long should doctors and nurses spend determining who to treat.

    This was FYI what the national identity card was for.

    [–] Government announces increase to NHS surcharge for Immigrants grepnork 7 points ago in ukpolitics

    You can't differentiate 'health tourists' from 'tourists' or anyone else, you can't even differentiate British expats returning to use NHS services (which is a serious problem no one talks about). Free healthcare is based on your residential status, not your nationality.

    If you want people to pay upfront then an organisation with 1.6 million staff is going to need payment services and a payment services team, which would likely be a more expensive long term spend than the upfront costs in any case. This stuff isn't cheap or easy. The alternative, refusing treatment, leaves doctors and nurses making snap judgements that they're not qualified to make and an army of dead or injured people floating about.

    Last year the NHS recovered £289 million of an estimated £300 million in health tourism spending.

    [–] Government announces increase to NHS surcharge for Immigrants grepnork 22 points ago in ukpolitics

    This doesn't affect so called 'health tourists', who won't pay anyway. This only affects those on tier 2 visa who are already paying taxes.

    My partner is on a T2, has paid around £1000 in five years towards the NHS via this tax and has never even seen a doctor. Most of the people using this category of visa are young and healthy.

    Of course rightists will love this, because 'muh' immigrants stealing everything'.

    [–] Australia says open to UK joining Pacific trade group after Brexit grepnork 1 points ago in ukpolitics

    All of the recent big trade deals include the mechanism - CETA, EU-Japan, EU- Singapore, and EU-Vietnam along with TTIP. The new TPP deal will contain it too.

    [–] Australia says open to UK joining Pacific trade group after Brexit grepnork -6 points ago * (lasted edited 2 days ago) in ukpolitics

    Those Brexiteers are also going to be upset that the provisions they complained about in TTIP are all in CETA and the EU's other recent FTA's, including the derided investor/state dispute settlement courts. It's almost as if recent comprehensive trade agreements follow current thinking on trade provisions.

    [–] UK millennials suffer worst falls in incomes of any nationality apart from Greece, report reveals grepnork 2 points ago * (lasted edited 2 days ago) in worldnews

    Yeah, my grandfather started work in a coal mine aged 13 and my grandmother was a domestic servant (in addition to being the sole carer for her infant brother, whilst living in a wealthy family's servant quarters) at 11.

    My father had to complete education until 16 because he passed his 11+, my mother was sent to secretarial school because she got two questions wrong on hers and was working as a pool typist age 15.

    I had to stay in school until 16, the next 5 years was optional.

    My daughter has to stay in school, college or apprenticeship until 18. The apprenticeships are a joke, so I'm pleased she's doing A-Levels.

    [–] To recap: Ukip barred journalists from its EGM yesterday, because it worried it would be embarrassing. I snuck in. How embarrassing was it? Well, here's a rough transcript of one of the speeches in favour of Henry Bolton. grepnork 2 points ago * (lasted edited 2 days ago) in ukpolitics

    Yes, and there is a welter of evidence that it's also a pointless PR exercise.

    We literally dubbed Gerry Adams voice in 80s news broadcasts because Sinn Fein was proscribed. It didn't change a thing but make the republicans angrier and more committed.

    [–] UK millennials suffer worst falls in incomes of any nationality apart from Greece, report reveals grepnork 0 points ago in worldnews

    We do. There are FE / adult education colleges and correspondence courses for all levels of qualification from NVQ to PhD. The system gives you 15 years in standard education and exactly two chances at A-Levels to figure it out for free. Once you've exhausted those two chances then you have to improve your qualifications with your own time and money.

    That is ~£100,000 in education that is free at the point of access.

    [–] UK millennials suffer worst falls in incomes of any nationality apart from Greece, report reveals grepnork 1 points ago in worldnews

    Ah, the Torygraph, that well known source for unbiased and in depth reporting of all matters European /s

    Should the IMF have lent Greece money? No. They had been bankrupt since the 1990s.

    Did Greece get growth, lower interest rates, and enough breathing space from the Eurozone to grow it's way out of the problems it had? Yes. It failed to recognise the opportunity and address the issues.

    [–] UK millennials suffer worst falls in incomes of any nationality apart from Greece, report reveals grepnork 1 points ago in worldnews

    If that were true then why do the banks employ a hundred times more staff now that they did in the 1980s? All computerisation did was change the nature of the staff required and enable their employer to operate at a vastly larger scale and speed.

    If you're doing a dead end job then automation is your enemy, the mantra now is work hard at school and ensure your skills are current and evolving with the business you're in.

    [–] UK millennials suffer worst falls in incomes of any nationality apart from Greece, report reveals grepnork 1 points ago in worldnews

    The Euro didn't do any damage at all, in fact it had nothing but benefits - it led directly to booming growth and vastly lower interest rates on their existing borrowing.

    The problem is that you can't grow your haulage sector if there are a limited number of trucking licencees who keep costs artificially high - such a system puts a literal brake on internal growth. In 75 of Greece's professional areas new entrants had to buy their way in from someone retiring, often paying up to a million Euros for the privilege. Add to that a tax system where virtually no one paid any taxes and government non-jobs where people got paid no matter if they showed up or not and what you have is a corrupt soviet-era economy ripe to collapse at any moment.

    [–] UK millennials suffer worst falls in incomes of any nationality apart from Greece, report reveals grepnork 1 points ago in worldnews

    If anything, the reason they survived as long as they did without consequence from the debt was that the Euro was much stronger than the Drachma. The rising value of the emerging global reserve currency gave them breathing space to grow their way out, but they failed to complete the structural reforms required.