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craggy_steve last won the day on March 8

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  1. Member of public reports shooting activity "which nearly hit him". Putting aside the validity of the judgement of the member of public, the police are faced with a potential situation where on the face of it: Some twat might be using a firearm in an unsafe way which exposes other to risk or _actually_ be a nutter taking pot shots at people They have a duty to investigate The nutter might shoot at them as they approach How else are Police supposed to respond other than sending AFOs, dogs etc. "mob-handed" to mitigate the worst case threat? In all likelihood (here on IoM) the situation they discover will be far removed from the worst case scenario - maybe some chap potting bunnies with a .22 on private land and a (inadvertent trespasser) walker nearby is alarmed - but until investigated there is the possibility that: someone has flipped and is shooting at people they have a powerful weapon and the skill to use it they will respond negatively to the perceived threat of Police coming to investigate / intervene Don't see how the Police can do other than approach with caution, and deploy all the resources that are reasonable to minimise the possible risk to themselves.
  2. Many employers of contract / agency workers will not accept "self-employed" as it is defined in UK (tax) law - the worker has to contract through a company (the agency, their own "personal service company", or an umbrella or "umbrella-like" company) in order for the employer to be satisfied that they are not taking on liability for the worker's tax liabilities under PAYE. That's why so many contractors and agency workers operate this way. In reality, thanks to the peculiarities of Class 2 & Class 4 NI, many workers who are forced to contract through an intermediary corporate structure by their employer / client would likely be better off as self-employed (unless the fiddle their taxes). Nothing is ever straighforward when it comes to tax, and the primary driver of contracting / agency working is and always will be the large employers attempting to avoid their liabilities in respect of tax, NI, pensions and employment "rights" which accrue from taking on a direct employee. Why do most corporates pay such a premium hourly rate to contract / agency staff? It's cheaper for the corporate in the long term.
  3. I've never worked for the NHS, and never used a controversial tax avoidance scheme, however: Whilst I'm sure that many folks who used these schemes, and other more compliant agency staff, did so out of choice (either more money or more flexibility in their working hours etc.), some folk DO NOT HAVE A CHOICE. Not everybody capable of performing a role well can actually get a permanent employed position performing that role, for various reasons. In my case I started agency working / contracting following a terminal cancer diagnosis which meant that I was effectively unemployable by any decent company bound by UK employment law - no significant employer in their right mind would take the risk (at the time) of employing me with reasonable confidence that they would be facing high absenteeism, incapacity, coughing out significant sick pay, and possible death in service benefits etc., in an uncertain timeframe but probably within a couple of years. Contracting / agency working gave me a lifeline. Yes, I survived, a statistical improbability - indeed whilst I was supposed to be dying, and fighting like f**k to not die, my work as a technologist working in the UK for large tech companies (a contractor supplied through an agency) was being reported around the world and remains the basis of some useful stuff which you and billions of others benefit from and probably take for granted daily. Sorry @Cassie, but don't rush to be so judgemental, your worldview maybe broadly valid, but it certainly isn't universally valid. Obviously if the NHS were a better employer then fewer of those who have a choice would choose agency working over direct employment - as is so often the case the NHS's problems are partly of its own making - but those competent medical professionals whom the NHS won't employ directly, for whatever reason still have a right to work, and many (most?) do not fiddle their tax. Agency working and contract employment have their place, they are useful to workers and employers. What's not useful is dodgy companies which create obviously artificial tax avoidance schemes and then prey on the financially naive by selling them to agency workers and contractors claiming that they are backed by learned tax-specialist barristers legal opinions - and the IoM has far too many of these companies. It is unreasonable to expect a nurse or a deep-sea diver or a radio presenter or whatever to be an expert in tax - very often even HMRC can't make up its own mind about what's legal and what's not. My 2d
  4. Try asking in the Isle of Man Facebook groups (e.g. "Isle of Man What Where When" .....). You may find a private let which will likely be better value and more flexible than going through a letting agency / estate agent. When I moved to the island I brought two large dogs, got a super 6 month let - nice house where the owners were totally happy with our dogs because they were dog owners themselves. Can't say that the agent made it easy, but I pushed and overcame the agent's default "No Pets, No Smokers" policy.
  5. Too many threads descend into slanging matches. Too many posters dismissive / rude about others equally (in)valid viewpoints / opinions. Too few intelligent / thoughtful responses. Just not worth engaging in many threads. Sad. My 2d.
  6. Probably dealing with IoMG that derailed him. 100% honest, sincere and successful guy who has brought a lot to the island and personally I'm sad to see his current predicament. Having been too close to the edge of mental illness myself I'm not going to mock or deride him, I just hope he finds his way again.
  7. Yessir!, you're in tune with the Manx zeitgeist.
  8. The tool is interesting for what the survey doesn't say. There are filters at the top where you can select / deselect quality of life parameters (by default they are all selected). Remove the "Ambition" parameters and the IoM goes up the league table. Remove the "Little Expats" (children) parameters and we plummet down. So the summary is that the IoM is a good place for people who are willing to sacrifice career success in order to provide their kids with a safe upbringing - which actually sounds about right and is certainly what has been articulated by many stay-overs who would have been more successful elsewhere. Actually it's not a bad message - "Escape the rat race and bring up your kids safely".
  9. The Guard contingent paraded with their SA80s with fixed bayonets. The band did not. TBH I found the sight of the Guard marching with SA80's a bit daft, they're too short really, was half expecting to see someone catch their ear with their bayonet on Slope Arms - should have hung on to a bunch of SLRs simply for ceremonial duties!
  10. Technically, incorporated companies (Ltd, PLC etc.) are legally Persons in their own right, they cannot be "owned" any more than you or I can be "owned" as natural persons. We are not slaves and nor are companies, the act of incorporating them makes them Persons in law with rights much like you or I. Shareholders hold a bundle of rights in a company, primarily the rights to appoint and dismiss the directors and to receive dividends if the company distributes surplus funds. Directors (note always multiple except for the rather dodgy concept of 2006 Act companies) act as the guiding mind of the company (because an incorporation certificate tends to have a pretty low IQ) in the interests of the company giving due consideration to the interests of its stakeholders (shareholders, employees, customers, the local community et. al). So the whole concept of "Beneficial Ownership" is flawed. The directors control the company until the shareholders sack them - and beyond that constraint they don't actually have to pay much attention to the demands of shareholders. Of course if the shareholders appoint themselves as the directors (or sole director in the case of a 2006 company) and use their control as directors to disproportionately benefit themselves as shareholders then they are abusing the company, similarly if the shareholders appoint tame directors who act in the interests of the shareholders instead of the company. Small shareholders cannot do these things, only big shareholders can, hence the requirement to only register as "Beneficial Owners" people who control 25% or more of the shares. Just as the directors can theoretically be controlled by the shareholders (through fear of losing their jobs etc.), similarly a wealthy person might appoint a proxy to be a shareholder and give (lend) their proxy the money to buy the shares, and direct their proxy to control the directors - so that the Beneficial Owner doesn't actually "own" any shareholding in the company but can still corruptly influence the company to his benefit. A far better way of addressing the problem would be to seek a register of Controlling Beneficiaries - which would capture all those folk who have direct or indirect influence over a sufficiently major / dominant shareholding and the ability to use it to control the directors, but would ignore small shareholders and trust beneficiaries who cannot control the directors. For company you can also read Trust, and for directors you can read Trustees. Hope that helps explain why a) the concept of Beneficial Ownership registration is a bit screwed up and creates many conundrums, and b) why many companies / trusts do not have "beneficial owners". Owner is a very poor shorthand for shareholder with a bundle of (limited) rights; a company is (should be) in law a legal Person which may not be owned / enslaved and which has rights of its own, such as to own property and sue in the courts, and responsibilities (primarily to comply with the law). Dunno who first came up with the term "Beneficial Owner" but they had a limited understanding of company law and we're all suffering from the compromises necessary to accommodate their poor choice of words. Controlling Beneficiaries would be a much better description and many companies (and pretty much all trusts) do not have any significant Controlling Beneficiaries - they might have beneficiaries but those beneficiaries don't have enough power to control the company. Hope that helps, many words but still a very crude shorthand summary of the complexity involved in company "ownership", so there are flaws in what I've said however the legal principles are sound in UK / IoM company law (but not necessarily elsewhere).
  11. Moorhouse's question was intended to point up that gov't support for these Manx Ambassadors is rather inconsistent and fails to recognise the reputational benefits for the island. Therefore it wasn't necessarily pointless or stupid.
  12. Not sure that UBI is _the_ solution, may well be a part of a solution. As I said on P1 "AI will be a real challenge to humanity unless we can evolve our society to accommodate it." UBI may be part of that but folk need something to do, otherwise they're just going to get pissed and procreate - which will exacerbate the Earth's resource challenges (or fight, which might be the answer). I spent a chunk of my early career putting folk out of jobs via automation, paid for by the UK Gov't to improve UK industrial efficiency. Was not an altogether happy time for me, but society evolved to create new "work" for most of those folk. Problem this time around is that it's hard to see what the next iteration of new work, which computers / robots / AI cannot do better and more cheaply, is going to be. Needs to be something uniquely human, and other than procreation!
  13. "how would you define a robot?" - any artificial mechanism which autonomously does things for us as our agent. A software agent which goes and collects relevant news articles for us to read, a microprocessor controlled electro-mechanical machine which toddles off to the front door to collect the post when it is delivered and brings it back to us, a vacuum cleaner or lawnmower which decided for itself how to go about doing its job. A self-driving automobile .... "When does a cybernetically implanted human become a different life form?" - When it / its actions becomes controlled by its implants? "Does brainwashing of humans by AI as in modern media and home interaction units create zombies or robots?" - Nope, don't think so. Really not much different to brainwashing by current gov't, education & media information bombardment. We are all being intentionally programmed by external influencers from the moment we can can receive communication. Kid's TV, School, TV & Newspapers etc. etc. All it does is create brainwashed humans. My 2d fwiw These are evolving questions just as the understanding / definition of AI is evolving.
  14. One way to keep the idle masses content without population growth, so it would be a logical evolution of tech.
  15. No need to imagine @Rog ... http://www.ai-aitech.com (NSFW)
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