Tag Archives: uk

should uk leave the EU?

6 Sep

london 9.26pm 16.8C, sunday 2015

this article in the daily mail says 51% now wants uk to leave the EU. opinion has changed a lot. previously majority was to remain in the EU.

Actually i am beginning to agree to the idea that  UK  leave the EU. All i am interested in is trade ties with the EU. that is all, i have no wish that the EU can start passing laws to control the UK and interfering with british laws.

in the past they have made it a condition of trade that UK be a member of the EU, or rather they have implied it. but that cannot be right. no country can put up trade walls and conditions to block trade with another. esp if they are also interested in trading with the UK.

The financial sector , which is london based, are afraid they will be blocked from doing business in EU, if uk is not a member,  it is possible that EU  can impose extra duty. The EU is considering a extra tax on financial transactions and if uk is not a member it can do it, and uk will be penalised. though it could work both ways, business may run to uk, if that tax is imposed in europe. the picture is not clear. uk have stamp duty and that has not detered those outside it from doing business with the uk stock exchange.

personally i think all countries should put a small tax on all financial transactions, that would raise quite a lot of money… though there might be disagreement on which country gets the money. but it is very possible that businesses will desert it and run to do business where the tax is not implemented.

ah well, these are problems that i am glad i dont have to solve. haha. the other thing if uk leaves the EU is what about all those brits living in europe now? their health benefits will stop as i dont think the reciprocal health arrangement currantly agreed on will hold after separation. and their freedom to live there for a long period may be subject to change. i think that group of people will see the biggest changes to their way of life.

i think for travellers and holiday makers, there wont be any changes. just as i can travel to europe easily, even though i am not british, after partition, brits will still be able to travel freely and holiday in europe without problems. i have a feeling things wont change that much if UK leaves. it is getting more and more attractive to leave, because i can see the EU govt tightening its grip and trying to make every country be united under one legislation. and they are very spendthrift, their spending is out of control. the gravy train is there for everyone in EU govt. it is really very bad and getting worst. 

A call for a 50:50 quota for male and female medical students in Pakistan | Justice for Men & Boys

28 Aug

Source: A call for a 50:50 quota for male and female medical students in Pakistan | Justice for Men & Boys

this is an increasingly common problem , not only in pakistan. it is also happening in uk. people might say pakistan has socially unique situations, being a muslim country and family comes first , but in uk, the female doctors are also leaving the profession to get married or wishing to do parttime.

it is not a problem due to culture but a problem innate in the women. they just dont like to work all their lives ( actually who would, haha. i think i would also give up work if i can find a husband who can earn enough for both of us; it is quite a logical wish, who wants to work all their lives when the husband can earn enough. and most of them do marry well, being doctors gives a huge boost to a woman’s marriage prospect.

if they can get married and have kids they prefer to stop work or do parttime.

it seems to me, women have the option to stop work and so no need to work for life;

unlike men, who are more career oriented because they have to be, no rich woman to pay for them.

here in uk there is not that muslim culture where women are expected to give up work to look after husband and children. (and from what i hear and read, the women in pakistan themselves dont mind and prefer it, rather than continue working. ) and yet it happens the same way in uk.

in uk none of that applies, but yet we are getting shortages of doctors because of women volunteering to leave the profession once they got married and have children.

for the university to ask that there is a 50;50 intake of medical students shows how desperate they feel the situation has become. so much money spent on the women doctors and they dont stick to it for life.

seems a lot of wasted money. not to mention the severe shortage of doctors even after all that money spent training them.

the uk laments that there is so many immigrants and foreigners (8million it seems) come to work here. but without them the country would not be able to function. in fact, one can argue that the uk is stealing all the trained people from other countries that need them , developing countries that can ill afford to have their trained people leaving the country to work abroad.

musings

12 Jul

london 11.37am sunday 2015 19.5C

i am in the library in paddington, and allready read the telegraph and the times. not a lot of interesting things there and i read them quickly.

there was a guy who was reading the sunday times before me, and when he returned the paper, i borrowed it and he saw me and on my way back to the seat, he asked me was i waiting for the sunday times and waiting for him to finish?

i said i come here to read all the papers, not just the sunday times. ( though even so i lie, i only read the telegraph and the sunday times, and ask for my library card back, ( you have to give them the card as a deposit, so they can  make sure u return the newspaper) .i just could not be bothered to ask for the independant or observer(which is the guardian on sunday). 

he said he is different from others who read the papers for a long time, he said he takes just 15mins to read it.

i agree with him that there are not that much to make us read it for a long time.

not like the old days.

but then so much of these modern days have changed. we can read all this online now and much of the writing is light weight. people maybe dont like reading the heavy analysis of news in the past. they like fluffy travel articles about countries overseas, or cities overseas.

even though the weather here in london is really very nice and it would be better to just stay in uk instead of travelling abroad. in fact there was an article in one of the papers of a guy who said just that. haha. but there is a caveat, it is not always sunny here in uk. take today for eg, to me it is very nice, but it is not sunny. it is warm enough, so i am wearing shorts and sandals now.

 so if u want the sun, u will have to go abroad. but if u are the kind of person who likes the sun, i think u will be the kind of person who wont like uk anyway.

i used to like hot weather, but i have realised it is silly. hot weather is very uncomfortable and breeds a lot of vermin like flies,mosquitos, cockroaches, rats and ants and bedbugs, that bite and sting.

i have reach a stage of my life where i find them horrible and dont want to tolerate them. so i welcome winter when they all get zapped and die. hahahaha. (oh there is a caveat too …. this only applies to households who dont have central heating, or who dont have heating at all; period. haha. if u have a heated house u will get lots of vermin breeding in your warm house. serves you right too.)

in malaysia we are used to them, so bear with them. well what can you do, you cannot eradicate them, so for your own sanity, u better get used to them…  until i come here and dont have them at all, and realise what a blissful life it is not to have them around.

Eurostar and Eurotunnel services cancelled for the rest of the day | UK news | The Guardian

30 Jun

Eurostar and Eurotunnel services cancelled for the rest of the day | UK news | The Guardian.

i was a bit puzzled why there was this strike by the ferry workers…the comments , an extract i copied here is very enlightening. read to the end, where it is explained why the competition commission forced eurotunnel to sell off the ships and break up the company. i am surprised all this is not mentioned in the article. the background info is very enlightening. businesses can be so devious and convoluted aren’t they?

what is strange (but on second thoughts maybe not so strange) to me is all these companies fighting over to bring in and out goods into uk… the business of moving goods into and out of the uk must be lucrative indeed, when u consider the planes are also doing the same thing and competing with trains(eurotunnel) and ships(the ferry companies) and yet there is enough profits for all of them.

added 12.7.15 friday the french blames british protectionism…accusing thebritish competition commission of continuously defend p&O and block any developent under a french flag. that is why it ruled that eurotunnel’s ownership of 3ferry ships is unfair competition and made eurotunnel sell off 2 ferries to DFDS, the danish operators. that decision was overturned on appeal, but too late to stop the sale of the ferries. looks like there is more than meets the eye… 

BobMcKan 

1516

When Sea France closed, as there was no other work in Calais the workers used their redundancy money to setup their own company, MyFerryLink. They rented the ships from Eurotunnel and now Eurotunnel have sold the ships to the competition, effectively closing MyFerryLink! This was all done thanks to the British competition authority. So now the French workers have lost their jobs, lost their redundancy money and had their successful business closed down by British. What do you expect them to do? Act like a British worker and lie down while everyone else walks on them?

  • 12

    Could they look and see if it is possible to rent some ferries elsewhere.

  • 01

    thanks bob for giving the background to all this. it clarifies a lot of things.

  • 23

    If it was truly a successful, well-run business they’d presumably have covered this kind of eventuality in their contract with the ships’ owners and/or investigated an alternative supplier. If someone else owns your key asset – one without which you’ve no business – and you’ve not absolutely nailed down the availability of this asset you have failed as a business.

    If you’ve no access to boats you’re not really much of a ferry company!

  • 01

    Yes thanks for the background and why isn’t this in the article? If all we learn mainly about the disruption but not the strikers’ grievances, how can we make up our minds?

  • 12

    It was deemed a monopoly. Myferrylink only had to detach themselves from Eurotunnel but did not, it was a bogus company

     added

smart meters

14 Apr

london written monday 13.4.15 but scheduled to post 14.4.15 8am. 2015

i heard about smart meters, and thought it was compulsory for us to have them.

i dont really want them because i think they dont really make us find out how to be economical.

i am allready monitoring my usage by taking readings daily, i dont need these electronic things to tell me.

i think the companies like it because they can read my meter without sending a person to physically visit me, gain access to my flat, and read the meter. that would save them hell of alot of money.

also i think having a smart meter means they can introduce different tariffs for different times of the day, or according to peak times… not something i care about or wish it. anyway what made me think of about them was a missed call i got from my phone.

it tells me someone called me and their number is 0194614100 and when i googled it hoping to find out which part of the uk it came from so i can find out which of my friends called me…

(though it is really only out of curiosity that i dial my phone to ask it who called; since my policy with people who dont leave me a message is to assume it is not urgent. haha. i never call them back.

i dont believe in calling these numbers which my phone tells me i get from missed calls. this is because i can just imagine the kind of conversation that i will be getting. with me asking ‘did u call me?’ more often than not the other person miss-dialed my number and then u get this ridiculous conversation when they ask in a suspicious voice  ‘who are u, why are u calling me?

and then i would reply ‘ ‘but u called me first, and i am asking why did u call me’.

‘i never did’… and so on. that is the kind of conversation i imagine i will get into if ever i call them back). 

From google, i discovered that that number belongs to a company trying to install smart meters. lucky i googled it, because i now know that it is not compulsory nor is it required by the law that we have to install smart meters.

now i know it is not compulsory i shall definitely not agree to it if they call me again. 

UK weather: Gales, heavy rain and snow expected during Easter holidays – Home News – UK – The Independent

30 Mar

UK weather: Gales, heavy rain and snow expected during Easter holidays – Home News – UK – The Independent.

yesterday, i did feel the wind was a bit more blustery than usual in london. haha. so i suppose the rest of the country must be experiencing gales, hurricanes , blizzards and  whathaveyou.

it is the reverse of that old saying, if america sneezes the rest of the world gets flu. haha.

spielplatz on tv

1 Dec

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2854814/Inside-Britain-s-secretive-naked-village-London-commuter-belt-nudists-stripping-85-years.html

london 2014 monday

the naked village have been around for ages and now and then it gets a documentary made of it. though it has been many years since one has. now this one has come along. haha.

I have been there on one of their open days. it is very nice, and the idea is great, to live a naked lifestyle outdoors all year, but practically…uk is too cold to be naked most of the year.

even our summers are rather cold and most of the time you will have to be indoors and with the heating on full blast. i cannot imagine putting up the heating just to be able to be naked. the heating bill will be astronomical.

at one time i was attracted to the idea of it and even thought of living in capdagde, in south france. or in vera playa, in spain which makes more sense than in uk; but i gave up on the idea as apart from being naked it can get a bit desolate during the off season when most businesses shut for winter.

living in london pt5

12 May

london

A continueing joy in living in london is the apples. even supermarket apples are delicious, firm, crunchy, sweet, juicy. so much so that i can eat two apples on the trot one after the other, and i eat all of it, only the stalk left. they are that good. my favourite is gala apples.

but just now, i bought 8 for £1 in tesco , after my swim, and took a bite of one when i left the store and was surprised that it tasted awful. very friable, soft, tasteless. I was thinking to myself do i have to eat all of it? and dreading it. It was that bad.

then i remembered long ago when i was in malaysia, and bought some fruits from the night market from some local malay guys who have set up a stall there, and they were not sweet and i actually went back to the street market and returned them and got my money back. i regret doing it, because those were natural fruits, and if they are not as sweet as i expected it is only because it is nature. i was very young and foolish in those days.

so i thought if i can return the fruits to those guys who least deserve it, why am i not returning these fruits to tesco right now? i have only gone a few steps away from the store… its not like i have returned home and found out. so i turned tail at once and returned to the store and asked for the store manager.

I told him the fruits are too old and i want to return it. I was actually holding the half eaten apple, it was that bad. he asked if i want a replacement, but i did not trust the rest of the batch were any better so i said i will take a refund. and of course he gave me my £1 back without any fuss. so i have to qualify my praise of apples from supermarket that it is not always that nice. haha. Still, it is the first time i got a bad batch in all my years of buying apples in london. and it is still one of the best things to enjoy about london. haha.

Gala apples actually are not native to uk. most uk apples like braeburn, russet, bramleys, are quite sour. but i think some local farmers are growing gala apples in uk now. It’s possible the apples are not that nice because it is not apple season now. that season comes around autumn time. 

I wonder what are the seasonal fruits we can get to eat now . it is spring now. i cannot think there are any fruits ripening and  available now. after all, the flowering season have only just started. But i remember reading somewhere that apples can be stored throughout the winter and brought out to be sold in batches.  but if there are no fruits actually growing now, what fruits are we to eat? that is assuming  we want to eat only seasonal fruits?? Unlike in malaysia, or seasia, where pineapple , papaya, guava, lime, jackfruit, bananas, starfruit, grow all the year round, we here in the temperate zone have winter where nothing fruits. You can see why there are no pure vegetarians in the prehistoric peoples who live in temperate climates. haha. any who are foolish enough to want to just eat vegetation will die. in winter, people will have to hunt animals or rear them to survive.

I just have a thought. all those religions, buddism , hinduism, which advocate a vegetarian diet are started in the tropics… where it is possible to live on vegetation all year. so those religions are suited to the peoples who live there.

and desert religions like jewism islamism, christianity seem to be in place to regulate people’s use of scarce resources. how much easier it is to get obedience when you tell people God wants it rather than pass man made laws that people will flout.  and the idea of a single god is so no other gods will contradict each other. 

You can understand why those religions came about in those regions of the world, but why should people in the temperate zone take up these religions?  (one of desert areas, the other of tropical areas), and force it into a temperate zone or cold climate way of life? It does not make sense, does it? 

A religion that worships the sun and time people’s activities according to its progress in the heavens as the seasons change… that would be more useful as a religion to the people who live in northern climes. maybe that is what stonehenge and all the other stone circles allude to, and druids are the high priests of such a religion. but they were all swept away when the romans came to britain and introduced christianity. and impose a religion for the desert areas to a northern climate country and people. Ah well, just my thoughts about religion, and how it comes about. 

 Added. i googled it and found out that rhubarb is the only fruit in season around now. first of all, i never knew rhubarb is a fruit. i had always thought it to be a vegetable. anyway, I have never seen any supermarket with a glut of rhubarb to sell. they make very good rhubarb crumble that is the only use for it that i know of. 

the old £50 note cease legal tender from 1st May

28 Apr

london

I read it first at the mirror newspaper, a few days ago in  the library copy, but strangely no other newspaper that day featured it. I thought it was important news, because it will alert us all to find old £50 notes and spend it quick or change it at the bank. 

i went to the barclay bank branch in pimlico to change it , but the woman cashier there flatly told me they are not accepting it and to ask me to put it into my account. very unhelpful of her. but at first i thought maybe it is just the bank trying to stop money launderers… but this morning when i set out to get rid of my remaining notes, the hsbc bank in victoria took it without any problems and changed it for me. so it seems that barclay woman was just being onery. remind me to boycott barclay bank. 

then i went to the primark near marble arch on oxford st, because i wanted to buy a swimming trunk to replace the one i lost when i left my bag at the bus stop. but there were no swimming trunks like the speedo style, (what the australians call budgie smugglers). lots of bermuda style shorts with it reaching down to the knee. i can see they are swim wear as they all have an inner lining. but it was not what i wanted. I allready got a bermuda style swimwear made by adidas.

the cheapest shorts they got were from £3.50. which is quite a good price if i were in the market for it. so i did not buy any but bought socks instead. primark is brilliant for socks. they are £2 a pack, 6 ankle socks , 4 sports socks. i can always do with socks because they always gets lost in our flat.

simon buys them too and still we run out of them. where do they go?

the cashier took the note and asked me to wait saying she need to verify it. when she returned she  accepted it. 

next i went to the tesco in vauxhall, and bought frozen chicken pieces 2kg for £3.50 ( good value at £1.75/kg) and frozen fish 540mg for £1.68. they are white fish which i find v useful for everything. i daresay they are from this s.e.asian bottom dweller ( with a name like pollock haha) which look huge and gross and ugly. haha. but it has excellent meaty flesh. i bought tesco basic instant coffee too… i just love it (though when i got back i found i allready got a spare bottle).

but anyway the cashier told me at first they dont accept it anymore. the £50 note. but i persisted ( well actually i just continued packing up the goods and repeatedly saying it’s money isn’t it?haha.) and she said she will ask and came back to say i am in luck, it expires on wednesday… so the mirror article was not wrong… 

i am really glad i read that article, but why the other newspapers did not carry it i wonder. 

i tried to find the mirror article online the day i read it in that day’s newspaper; but nothing on their website or I could not find it. i wanted to blog about it then, but did not bother when i could not find the link. ah well, hope those who have the odd £50 note lying around is not too late to get rid of it. I think i have got rid of all my notes now, though i wont rule out finding some more when the deadline is gone. I sincerely hope not because it would be a huge botheration. 

£50 notes are not something u use, and you tend to just put them aside as they are really awkward to carry about and shopkeepers are always reluctant to accept them for small purchases. the self service tills in supermarkets wont accept them and so u have to queue up to get the human cashier to do it, and it is a lot of bother with them humming and hawing and fingering it; and holding up the queue. 

ah well, after 1st may, u will have to go to the bank of england to change it. it will always be possible to change it at the bank of england, and the notes do not expire. but it is hell of a bother to go to the bank of england to change the odd note. 

different jobs payments

11 Apr

london

I have been chatting to my friends from the usa, and he was saying that businesses have to contribute for your health insurance if they hire anyone who works over 30hrs a week.

so that is why many jobs in usa are parttime, to get round this requirement that lays costs on businesses who hire anyone working more than those hours.

And because working less than 30hrs means people earn less, many have to work more than one job. that explains why so many americans work in more than one job. and why so many dont have health insurance. 

but this is interesting,did u know that  when they get to 65yrs old they get free medicare. not many know that. my friend is 65yrs and he told me he was so relieved when he turned 65yrs without  getting a serious illness before than, or he would be made bankrupt.

but now he is over 65yrs old, medicare means he is safe from being bankrupt if he gets ill.

now i know why there was that theroux program i saw recently about people being kept alive and going through great lengths to prolong their lives even though they are in coma or in long term no hope illness. And there were whole hospitals and doctors there to help them keep alive even though their prognosis is hopeless.

at that time,when i was seeing the program;  i was thinking how come these people can afford that … now i know. medicare pays for it. that medicare bill must be enormous and it will fall on the taxpayer.

isn’t it a paradox! when u are below 65yrs old, u want to die quick if u get a serious illness, after 65yrs old u want to prolong your life even though the chances of getting well is hopeless and the doctors will want to keep u alive for as long as possible. this is in america the great big land of freedom and democracy. i am glad i live in the uk, with our national health. 

we were looking at a tv program on london live, a new tv channel, and they were showing a bunch of workers in the ritz cinema in brixton demonstrating for a living wage. the minimum wage in uk is £6.80, the workers were paid £7.70 and want £8.50 an hour. the ritzy is a small cinema in brixton, which is not really a rich area.

and not like one of the big guns cinema chains in leicester square charging £12 for a film. so it makes me wonder how the workers can justify asking for such high wages. they are actually paid more than the basic wage and they still want more. it makes me realise why businesses dont like to give workers more than the minimum wage if they can help it because it seems u start giving them more, the workers start getting ideas and want still more. 

now i ask myself do the workers in the vue, or anyof those cinema chains in leicester square make more than the basic wage or not. and if so do they want to strike for a living wage?

or do they get overtime and that bungs up their salary and so no need to fight for living wage.

perhaps  they are all  hired full time, seeing that in uk no businesses deliberately hiring parttimers only; because businesses dont have to contribute to  the  national insurance of their workers. it is related to pensions though, businesses will have to contribute an extra % to their full time workers’ pension pots. some businesses may only want to hire on a short term contract, so that they dont have to contribute to the pensions. you can see how govt rules can influence how businesses hire people. or they might want to hire self employed workers. that way they are not responsible for the pensions of those workers. sigh, there are all these bits and bobs that influence who and why and how workers are hired.