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Everything posted by woolley

  1. It is the Daily Mail. Don't expect coherence ffs.
  2. To be fair those geriatrics come from all over the country.
  3. I would say it is working for us if you look for alternatives. It's cold out there. I worry that you are overestimating what we may be sacrificing. I certainly hear what you say about poverty and the shortcomings in our infrastructure. I'm not convinced that there is a convenient answer. It's a hell of a leap of faith. Democracy - in whatever form you wish it to take in the future - is nice but it won't pay the bills. "You don't do it overnight...." Well you do if, as you proposed, we are telling the UK to take a hike to hook up with Ireland instead. That doesn't sound like the kind of thing that you can do by instalments. You are preaching to the converted about diversification. I have spent my career building businesses that specifically don't rely on the local market, or exclusively on the finance sector. Your list of activities for investment is impressive, but right now we have home rule. We are masters of our own destiny to the extent that we can do any of the things you advocate without reference to anyone outside. As you say, we could be doing them already while we still have the income from the finance centre to sustain us. We can have Plan B while we still have Plan A contributing. Seems a strange plan to ditch Plan A, which make no mistake, we would have to do without British sovereignty, before we have anything tangible with which to replace it. In conclusion, I would add that epitaphs have been written to the global network of tax havens for as far back as I can remember. In spite of this, they probably handle more wealth now than at any time in history. Predictions of their demise have always been premature, a bit similar to the oil industry.
  4. That's quite meaningless, really, other than for appearances. As I said earlier, practically all of the economic activity on the Island, save for a little tourism and high tech (niche precision engineering, meds, biotech etc.), is predicated on the tax haven. You can include the large government share of GDP in that as well. The fabric of our society is built upon it and paid for by it. Ask yourself where all of the people you know work. Mainly government or finance in one form or another.
  5. All right. I hear you, but aside from a little tourism and high tech manufacture, pretty much all economic activity here is built upon the finance centre and serving the finance centre and those who man it. That's a fact. Take it away and I can't think of what we replace that with to sustain anything like the present population, let alone the gargantuan government. Can you?
  6. woolley

    Firm closing

    That might rather depend on whom you say it to.
  7. Apart from the gaping holes highlighted by others, this won't ever happen because of realpolitik. The reason we were able to have the relationship with the UK as an EU member and the IOM as its once removed associate, maintaining our own system of taxation and operating a tax haven outside the bloc was because the EU/EEC wanted the UK as a member. Simple as that. It's a massive state incorporating the world's largest finance centre and, most importantly, a big budget contributor. The Island (and the other UK dependencies) were granted their status against this backdrop because the EU was prepared to acquiesce to get what it wanted. The City of London in one way or another sustains our finance centre. It means something in the world. it gives us kudos. So swap that for an association with Ireland. Well, Brussels is not going to have it for a start. As far as the EU is concerned, they don't like tax havens. Well, not ones beyond their control at least, so Ireland, not a massive budget contributor, will have to do as it's told. Also Dublin isn't London, so where does that leave our main USP? It leaves it nowhere. Non-starter.
  8. It certainly has its appeal. And if you could also advise how to replace over a million pounds a day in lost revenue I'm sure they'll be right onto it.
  9. This is quite an unpleasant thread, in some ways reminiscent of the nightly (and presumably) alcohol fuelled abuse sessions of yesteryear between notwell and that malicious moron (the name escapes me) who used to wind him up to apoplexy. Aside from the name calling though, and the more provocative stuff posted by HiVibes, there are issues of inter-generational fairness that have been festering for years, and they will have to be addressed soon. The fact that I’m not a million miles away from the point at which HiVibes considers I have no future does concentrate the mind now and then, I will confess. It also means I can see both sides of the coin. Currently I’m sound of wind and limb, but as for all of us, and not just the old, that happy state of affairs can change literally in a heartbeat. I know that “every generation blames the one before”, but in the end, aren’t we all human? I see and hear plenty of younger people today sounding off about the boomers having it all and spoiling their lives. As though boomers are some alien race, when in reality boomers are often their parents who tried to do the best for them. In some cases they did far too much and created an unsavoury entitlement culture in their children. One day in the not too distant future, the boomer’s offspring will inherit the riches they seek, and then their own progeny will in turn slag them off for ruining their future, and so it goes on. Not all boomers live high on the hog, incidentally. Not by any means. In the end then, our problems have to be faced by society as a whole. No idea how old HiVibes is, but we were all there once feeling omnipotent and thinking we could change the world if only the old bastards holding everything back would get out of the way. One thing is for sure; however young you are, the time passes far more quickly than you ever dream it will, and I’m afraid you will be in the position of the old duffer soon enough. If you are paying for the state pensions of old duffers at the moment, incidentally, why would you not be entitled to draw your own when the time comes? How dreadfully inequitable towards younger people, and a curious suggestion from someone supposedly championing their interests. Means testing would be a self-defeating policy because it would induce far too many people to abandon making any provision for their old age. Yet at the same time, I do accept that there is merit in some of what HiVibes says. I agree that we do need to acknowledge the everyday struggles young people face now and do something to address them, and I don’t mean just the usual lip service. The Island desperately needs more social housing, and it also needs to make house purchase more affordable. There has to be increased supply of the former, and soon, as well as tough legislation to stop builders and landlords hoarding land and property to continually drive up prices of the latter for their own benefit. If we are to attract young families and address the loss of those already here, we also have to be more family friendly in providing and financing childcare and crèche facilities. The current offering is nothing short of woeful, and it compares very poorly with availability and affordability in the UK. Maybe we could do something imaginative with the income tax system to further advantage young families, and to encourage graduates to return. The Island is a wonderful place to grow up with lots of healthy activities, a nurturing community and a safe environment, but it’s a very bleak place to be if your family is skint. If we do nothing along these lines, and it’s only a start, we haven’t a hope in hell of increasing the population by very much at all, and certainly not to 100,000 any time soon. Our population will stagnate as it gets older and older and older. Services will start to break down if they haven't started to already. Finally, at the other end of the spectrum, those old duffers. I am sure that there really has to be a light goes on in the collective consciousness and we realise that quality of life is all. Not quantity, but quality. People may be living longer, but they are not necessarily living better. I don’t want to be drooling into my soup in some bloody care home the way I watched my mother rot away in her incoherence for two long years. I’m with HiVibes totally on this. Yes, I’m all for the cull. The way we allow the old to linger on in a twilight zone between life and death is downright cruel. In fact, we don’t just allow them to do this, as a society we insist on it. How criminally wasteful of resources that could be far better employed. And how much more agreeable to be able to decide when you’ve had enough, or if you’re beyond making that choice for yourself have a judge and a doctor decide it for you in discussion with your family. You can take a last trip around your cherished memories and drift peacefully off to sleep. If we refuse to get a grip on end of life policy and the alarm bells ringing in the demographics of our population, then one day there’s simply going to be nobody left who is sufficiently compos mentis to wipe all the arses.
  10. Exactly. No doubt they were seeking only to uphold the principle of age equality for others rather than seeking personal gain. I would be confident that before Christmas they will be spreading goodwill by donating the proceeds to local charities. We won't hear about it because they are not the sort who would blatantly seek plaudits for their public spirited generosity.
  11. Pay for admission? How dare they? Quids Inn will surely see them in court.
  12. As has been said, the Manx outfit has given the original Karen's a goldmine in free publicity and totally opened up the field for them. I for one had never heard of them but I certainly have now. In fact, what a wonderful ruse it would have been had their marketing folks planned the whole thing. Get some locals to say they are going to open a local version of your superb franchise and then ride in with all guns blazing in the full light of local media publicity. Genius. Karen's would do well to learn from this and to adopt this strategy in any locations they are targeting. The only flaw I can see, again as has been said, is how do you get your intentionally surly service to stand out in the Isle of Man where it is naturally occurring and has been honed to perfection over countless years.
  13. You are correct to say that "so many people do not realise that the ECHR is not part of the EU". A great many people, and not all of them "thick as mince" Brexiteers, do not realise a great many things. The level of argument among the masses is shockingly mundane on both sides. Perhaps it's time for folk to shout a little less stridently and educate themselves about the issues. You might point me towards UK legislation that you believe is wanting and you could even be right, but this is an entirely different matter. If such is the case then these failings need to be rectified domestically to keep control within. The imperative is to put your own house in order. You appear to be making the counter argument that it is better to outsource the legislative process to foreign bodies because they make law which is more to your taste. Perhaps you perceive that EU legislation is more socialist or liberal or whatever for the time being, and you like that. This slippery constitutional slope is the fulcrum of the entire debate, and it eclipses every other aspect of it. Countries and peoples around the world fought against imperialism because they wanted the freedom of self-determination to pass their own laws and govern themselves. You and other EU enthusiasts are advocating the opposite direction of travel, and don't forget, the complexion of any power base can change over time. Ceding powers over your destiny is a very big deal indeed and not one to be stumbled into without a shot being fired. Now that really is it for me here on Brexit and allied matters. Have fun campers.
  14. This sort of thing can be a nightmare for traders, often through no fault of their own. There are multinational manufacturers who refuse point blank to accept returns through the trade. They insist on dealing with the customer direct. Doesn't matter that the customer only walked out with the item half an hour ago and is not happy that it can't be returned or swapped. Doesn't matter that the retailer has a statutory duty to the customer. The manufacturers see themselves as above the law and simply don't want to know about the problems of the retailer.
  15. I didn’t intend to come back on this subject (ever again), but since I’ve been mentioned subsequently a couple of times in despatches, I feel compelled. I’ll be brief. It’s fair to say that JW and I don’t agree on much, but he is right about PK reheating the same hackneyed arguments that he and I debated ad nauseam for (in retrospect) far too many years. I don’t intend to try to debunk all of these yet again because I know he just keeps coming back like a boxing kangaroo throwing all the same punches. I’ll just take issue with one point: Which is why we had a veto n'est ce pas...? The veto was not a tool to cure all present and future ills. If you believe that it was, then it would appear that you have not heard of, or do not understand, QMV – Qualified Majority Voting? As a “thick as mince” Brexiteer, I do understand it. Please avail yourself of some information: https://ukandeu.ac.uk/the-facts/what-is-qualified-majority-voting/ And in traditional EU fashion, there is mission creep and aspiration to enhance QMV to further erode and confiscate (or ‘pool' if you remain delusional) the national sovereignty of member states: https://www.swp-berlin.org/en/publication/more-eu-decisions-by-qualified-majority-voting-but-how And, of course, the clincher is that if the veto worked in the catch all manner that PK would have us believe, then the EU would never have reached its current stage of integration at all. So perhaps we might at least hear no more about the veto? Of course woolley realises this. It's elementary stuff. Since the context was the EU, my reference to 'European Courts" was to EU Courts. In my view, the UK should finish the job and withdraw from the unnecessary ECHR. I would take the same line as the USA and not recognise the jurisdiction of any supranational court above our own. We are perfectly capable of passing and enforcing our own civilised laws without parental guidance from a continent we had to save from itself twice in the 20th century.
  16. If you can't see what's wrong with all of that, I'm not going to help the willfully blind.
  17. The idea of "pooling sovereignty" is a nonsense. It's akin to having sex for the purpose of pooling virginity. Sovereignty is something precious that you either have or you don't. Our forebears have fought and died for centuries to stave off hegemony from the continent. Nothing that involves the jurisdiction of European Courts or the European Parliament having primacy over domestic law is acceptable. The principle really is as straightforward as that, or it should be. Even if you rather like the politics currently promoted by Brussels, it doesn't mean that it will always be of the same shade, or that it will meet with your approval in the future. By the time you realise that the flavour is no longer to your taste, nation states may well have lost the power to object. I have always considered that the whole edifice will end in tears; overblown vanity projects through history usually do. I've not seen anything in recent years that persuades me to change my view. Have all of the co-operation you want and all of the immigration you need. Pool research, pool technology, pool anything you like BUT only by consenting agreement among equals, and never by diktat by a continental assembly passing legislation over your head. My first comment on the matter here in over 2 years. Maybe see you in another 5 to see how it's going.
  18. This rings a very loud déjà vu bell with me. Didn't they do this in the 90s? Or it could have been another locally licensed operator. The card was silver and might have been simply called "ManxCard" or something, but it was a standard credit card (Visa or Master) that you could use anywhere. Obviously died for some reason.
  19. A brave decision, Minister. (Or that could go horribly wrong).
  20. Hang on. 1% of £10k IS £100. 😀
  21. I bow to your more recent knowledge, BoJo. It USED to be around 1%, but they were gouging the merchants for anything up to 4% commission so they were being generous with other people's money. Anyway, it's a long time since we had anything to do with them. I put it down to the impetuosity of youth back in the buccaneering days when we were prepared to give anything a go. They've obviously moderated their demands in recent years, as have all card networks to be fair. If it works for you that's great. ETA: Just had a delve. So this is out of date then? https://www.americanexpress.com/uk/credit-cards/platinum-cashback-credit-card/?linknav=UK-Acq-CreditCards-CardTypes-CashBackCards-PlatinumCashback-LearnMore
  22. The thrust of AMEX marketing to merchants: Our cardholders are discerning individuals of high to medium net worth who spend freely and will bring considerable added value to your business and your bottom line. The reality: Their cardholders are frequently rather unpleasant, cheeseparing individuals with an inflated opinion of themselves who are using the card for their everyday living expenses to take advantage of the 1% (or whatever) kickback which is amply funded by the extortionate merchant fees. We did run with it for a while. Instructions to staff when asked if we accepted AMEX was to reply not if we can help it.
  23. woolley

    Firm closing

    Let me consult my retained authority on these matters, a Mr Hancock. Matt!! Can you spare a moment over here, please?
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